BJP leaders protest, demand safe accommodation in Valley

BJP leaders during a protest rally in Srinagar on Tuesday. —Excelsior/Shakeel
BJP leaders during a protest rally in Srinagar on Tuesday. —Excelsior/Shakeel

Excelsior Correspondent

Srinagar, Oct 12: Scores of Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) leaders and workers protested here today against the administration’s decision to order protected persons to vacate hotel accommodations that had been allotted to them due to militant threats, and demanded safe accommodations for all political activists in the Valley.
Workers and leaders who had been ordered to vacate their accommodations protested the decision by marching from the Press Enclave to Srinagar’s Civil Secretariat. They chanted anti-administration slogans and demanded that Panchs, Sarpanchs and other activists be housed safely.
“Whether a political worker is elected or not, it is the government’s responsibility to protect him,” Altaf Thakur, BJP spokesperson for Kashmir said, adding that they are asked to vacate despite situation not being conducive.
He claimed that at least 14 hotels in Srinagar’s capital city had been vacated, and that district authorities had been asked to take responsibility for “safe and secure” accommodation for political workers in their districts.
“They were promised that they would be housed in their respective districts, but that has not happened yet. When a political activist contacts the concerned Deputy Commissioner in his area, he receives no response. We have gathered here today to protect their lives,” he said.
He informed in some of the places where they have been accommodated, multiple beds are crammed into a single room, much like a hospital ward. “They are not allowed to visit their homes, and their family members are not allowed to meet them”, he said.
He said that the BJP has started protests today, and “we will keep protesting until our demands are met.”
Another worker claimed that the government had ordered them to vacate the accommodations, despite the fact that elected representatives were at risk.
“We should be given separate accommodation along with our families. This is the failure of the government. On one hand, killings are going on, and on the other hand, they make such decisions,” she said.